Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘Fusion Garage’

Nilay Patel on JooJoo Tablet Court Decision ➝

Nilay Patel writing for Engadget:

breach of fiduciary duty has always struck us as TechCrunch’s strongest argument, and the court’s now effectively ruled that Fusion Garage and TechCrunch were indeed involved in a joint business venture with legal obligations to protect each others’ interests. That’s not a bad position from which to proceed — although TechCrunch now has to prove that Fusion Garage actually violated its duty by releasing the Joojoo on its own, which is a whole new fight.

Just like everyone else, I’m not sure why this is going on. It’s pretty clear at this point that the JooJoo tablet isn’t selling like hot cakes.

JooJoo Finally Ships ➝

From a piece I published on April 14, 2009:

I have admitted that I was skeptical about the CrunchPad, but I must also admit that the device looks pretty solid and has a very clear path to the market.

That was nearly a year ago, but earlier this month the CrunchPad finally shipped to customers, albeit under a different moniker. I think we were all a bit skeptical and although there might only be about 100 of them in the wild, Fusion Garage actually managed to get this thing out the door.

I don’t know if anyone truly thinks that this could be a credible iPad competitor but I certainly know Paul Miller doesn’t. From the wrap-up section of his review on Engadget:

Even putting aside the fact that Apple’s $499 iPad brings more to the table than just web browsing, the JooJoo is less portable, has a worse (if larger) screen, is unintuitive to use, and ships with half-baked software. We commend the start-up on its nice piece of hardware design, but until the software is given some much-needed love and the price is seriously reevaluated we simply cannot recommend this tablet.

When the CrunchPad project was first announced I was actually excited about it. The idea of a 10-12 inch tablet computer built specifically for browsing the web sounding great. But a good idea can only get you so far. Shoddy software and litigation is a recipe for failure.

Fusion Garage Revamps JooJoo Interface ➝

Engadget has a gallery showing the changes Fusion Garage has made to the JooJoo tablet’s interface.

Engadget’s Nilay Patel writing about one of the more interesting changes:

Scroll behavior has been revised as well, with two separate behaviors: a two-finger scroll that works like a scroll wheel, and a single finger “pan” that works like a mouse arrow. That’s so you can move around sites like Google Maps, which have different interface elements mapped to each control

Also, the solid color background with big icons has disappeared in favor of a much more attractive picture background with smaller icons. The keyboard is said to have been improved but I still doubt it’ll be very usable.

Of course, all of these changes are moot unless these guys actually start shipping units.

JooJoo Tablet Delayed ➝

Leslie Katz reports on CNET’s Crave that the JooJoo tablet has been delayed due to display issues.

Leslie writes:

due to an issue that “centers on fine tuning the touch sensitivity of the capacitive screen,” according to the manufacturer, it’s now expected to be sent March 25. Preorder customers will get a free JooJoo accessory to compensate for the delay, Fusion Garage added.

The JooJoo tablet was supposed to ship at the end of last month but now won’t ship to customers until the end of this month. It’s a good thing that those that pre-ordered are going to get a freebie but how does Fusion Garage expect to make this device a success when the only thing it had going for it over the iPad was a much earlier ship date? At this point the ship dates are so close together that no one in their right mind would order the JooJoo tablet to recieve it less than two weeks before the iPad is released.

I’m willing to bet that anyone who hasn’t ordered a JooJoo already and were seriously considering it will end up with an iPad instead.

Matt Buchanan on JooJoo Tablet Developments ➝

Matt Buchanan writing for Gizmodo:

I talked to Fusion Garage CEO Chandra, who said they’re not only getting another round of investing, they’ve struck a deal [with] CSL Group, Malaysia’s largest OEM—they make fabulous BlackBerry knockoffs called Blueberrys—to cover their full outgoing manufacturing cost in exchange for revenue sharing. In other words, CSL’s covering the cost to make the tablet (which is being made by one of the “top three or four” Taiwanese OEMs, according to Chandra), and CSL gets a slice of cash from every JooJoo sold. […] The other big news is that they’re planning on opening a web app store. Chandra says that one of the iPad’s advantages over JooJoo was the App Store, which made app discovery easy through categorization.

Sounds to me like Fusion Garage went from making an innovative (yet barely useful) device to making the equivalent of an iPad knockoff.

No matter who is right in the spat between TechCrunch and Fusion Garage, it’s hard to take the guys at Fusion Garage seriously.

Fusion Garage Announces the JooJoo Tablet ➝

JooJoo Tablet

Keeping in mind that Arrington didn’t file for the CrunchPad trademark until November 17, 2009 (the same day he claims to have received the email from Fusion Garage CEO), on Monday Fusion Garage announced the JooJoo Tablet.

We’ve heard their side of the story and, the way they tell it, the device was already in the works when TechCrunch published their post about the idea. They also claim that Michael Arrington and his crew made zero contributions to the project.

The device boots straight into the browser (much like Google Chrome OS) weighs 2.4 pounds, has only one physical button, boots in 9 seconds, it has a 12.1-inch capacitive touchscreen, and 5 hours of battery life. Pre-orders of the device start on December 11 with a price tag of $499 (not exactly the $200-300 we were hoping for, but that price was truly unrealistic).

Engadget had some hands-on time with the device in which they revealed that it does have Bluetooth with support for external keyboards, mice, and headsets. In their hands-on video Rathakrishnan demoed playback of 1080p video from YouTube which Engadget’s Ross Miller described as “smooth.”

Fusion Garage Will Reveal CrunchPad Details This Monday
12/1/09: The CrunchPad’s Bizarre Ending

Update 12/12/09: TechCrunch has filed their lawsuit over the CrunchPad (now JooJoo) tablet. They’ve published the filing on the aforelinked piece along with some additional thoughts from Michael Arrington. I still haven’t decided who I believe in this whole situation, I can see both sides happening and honest, I don’t know who to believe.

If you’d like to hear some more about the JooJoo tablet and Fusion Garage’s side of the story, Engadget’s Joshua Topolsky had a discussion with Chandra Rathakrishnan, a video of which has been published on Engadget.

Update 12/12/09: Not only are pre-orders now available (due to litigation, pre-order at your own risk), but Fusion Garage has released more press shots of the device and announced the JooJoo Stand.

Update 12/20/09: Dan Frommer reports for Silicon Alley Insider that Fusion Garage has responded to Michael Arrington’s lawsuit. Long story short: Michael Arrington is a liar.

In another interesting turn of events, Fusion Garage is violating PayPal’s terms with their JooJoo tablet pre-orders. From PayPal’s terms:

You also agree not to use your PayPal account to sell goods with delivery dates delayed more than 20 days from the date of payment

Fusion Garage Will Reveal CrunchPad Details This Monday ➝

Patrick Hoge of the San Francisco Business Times reports that the company that screwed Michael Arrington on the CrunchPad, Fusion Garage, will be holding a video call with reporters and industry analysts on Monday.

Chandrasekar “Chandra” Rathakrishnan, founder and CEO of Fusion Garage, will speak to reporters and demonstrate “the device” both in a video call and in private briefings scheduled for later Monday at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco, said Megan Alpers of San Jose-based McGrath/Power Public Relations.

I’m sure we’ll hear their side of the story.

Meanwhile Michael Arrington claims that Fusion Garage still hasn’t returned any of his calls or emails. Arrington has published two letters from their law firm to Fusion Garage regarding the imminent litigation.

What I find odd about this whole situation is that, if the CrunchPad was indeed just three days away from launch, wouldn’t it be likely that any other “inventor” of such a device would just publish specifications, images, and maybe even video of the device, before Fusion Garage even had a chance to move forward? I don’t think anyone should buy a device from someone who paints such a dreary picture of the future of his product. He hasn’t even mentioned the idea that it could eventually be released.

His initial post regarding this ordeal was entitled “The End Of The CrunchPad.”

The CrunchPad’s Bizarre Ending

Update 12/10/09: Fusion Garage Announces the JooJoo Tablet

The CrunchPad’s Bizarre Ending ➝


Michael Arrington says that he and his team got screwed by Fusion Garage just a few days before they planned to debut the device. Fusion Garage wants to cut Arrington out completely and sell the device themselves.

Arrington’s team plans on filing multiple lawsuits against Fusion Garage and he hopes that “the legal system will work it all out over time.”

It seems that James Kendrick was right when he claimed back in April that the CrunchPad “may not ever appear on the market.” His reasoning was incorrect though, Arrington did have everything in line, until he was screwed by his manufacturing partner.

The CrunchPad is dead. I never planned on buy it, but I’m still a little disappointed.

The Current State of the CrunchPad
7/31/09: CrunchPad Specs Revealed
4/14/09: James Kendrick Claims CrunchPad May Not Happen, With No Evidence

Update 12/4/09: Fusion Garage Will Reveal CrunchPad Details This Monday

Update 12/10/09: Fusion Garage Announces the JooJoo Tablet